Tannahill Oak

Historical Period: Frontier Texas (1865-1900)
Historical Topic: Frontier Settlements
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Tarrant
Public Access: No

In 1874 Robert Watt Tannahill quarried and cut stones from nearby creek beds to build a house that would serve the frontier west of Fort Worth in numerous ways. With walls up to twenty inches thick and trees providing shade, the hilltop Tannahill homestead was a welcome and sheltering place.

Although, Tannahill operated a cattle and horse ranch, he was involved in many facets frontier life. He acted as county judge when the presiding judge resigned to join the Confederate Army. Tannahill was appointed postmaster in 1878 and his front room became Tannahill Post Office. The homestead location is near where the Chisholm Trail split to the west and northeast; consequently the Tannahill Post Office was used by many trail bosses for posting letters and picking up mail. The second story of the house was periodically used as a medical clinic, where Tannahill’s neighbor, Dr. Wood, tended patients, including twenty-seven people during a typhoid outbreak.

The homestead also served as a stagecoach stop, known as Tannahill Station. It was the first stop west of Fort Worth on a rough and dangerous line that headed west to connect with the Butterfield Stage Line. The horses had a long pull to the top of the hill to stop beneath the large live oak near the house while they waited for mail to be delivered, passengers to board, or just to let folks living on the edge of the wild west to visit awhile. This live oak, the Tannahill Oak, remains along the drive today, welcoming modern visitors to the homestead.